top of page


Riff Generation


KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 05.jpg

Jim Pisano


Multi-woodwind specialist James Pisano’s numerous invitations as a performer and educator have taken him across the United States, as well as Europe, Brazil and South Africa. Pisano has shared the stage as a soloist with jazz luminaries Phil Woods, Frank Foster, Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Harry “Sweets” Edison, James Moody, Hank Jones, Randy Brecker, Terrell Stafford, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Big Band, among many others. He recently formed an organ jazz group called Organique that is dedicated to performing, composing, and recording works for this instrumentation. He currently serves as Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Ensembles at Wichita State University.

KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 10.jpg

Henry Scamurra


Nineteen year old Henry Scamurra is currently a sophomore at UMKC's Conservatory working toward a BM in Jazz Studies. Raised in St. Joseph, MO, Henry always gravitated towards Kansas City for artistic inspiration. He has been playing saxophone for 10 years, building his musical and entrepreneurial resume along the way. As a performer, Henry has participated in the 2020 Jazz Band of America, was a part of the KC Area Youth Jazz Fellowship, and has been scheduling and performing with his own combo from the age of 15. His biggest inspirations are Logan Richardson, Kenny Garrett, and Walter Smith III.


Jason Goudeau


Jason Goudeau, trombonist, educator, arranger, and composer is a native of Houston, Texas. Early on he acquired a love for music which led to attending a local jazz camp known as the SummerJazz Workshop where he was exposed to music on a professional level through the tutelage of the camp teachers and developed an appreciation for jazz music. In 1981, Jason attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He studied jazz under the direction of Dr. Robert Morgan. In 1985 Jason moved to Kansas City, Missouri and continued his studies at the University Of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He studied trombone under Dr. John Leisenring and jazz under Professor Michael Parkinson where he earned a Bachelor of Music Performance degree in 1989. Jason’s music career spans 30 years and has afforded him the opportunity to perform with many local and nationally recognised artists. In 2020 Jason released his first single entitled “ Cool of the Day” and is currently working on releasing new music in the coming months.


Aryana Nemati


Kansas City native Aryana Nemati has a true passion for music. Aryana pursued her musical aspirations at UMKC’s Conservatory. She received her bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance/Studio Music in the winter of 2014. In the spring of 2017, Nemati completed her teaching assistantship and received a master’s degree in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has been a featured artist for Kansas City’s Open Spaces festival, Columbia, Missouri’s We Always Swing jazz series, and Topeka’s Jazz Series. She has had the honor of playing with the following: Harry Connick Jr., Bobby Watson, Mindi Abair, The Four Tops, Sister Carol, Father John Misty, Naggo Morris, Harold ‘Spike’ Bonhart, and Ernie Andrews.

KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 08.jpg

Max Levy


Max Levy performs often throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, playing an eclectic mix of straight-ahead jazz music at various venues. Max can also be seen playing with other prominent ensembles including Son Venezuela, Patrick Lentz Band, Baby J, Hard@Play, Clayton Delong Trio, and countless others. Max originally hails from southeastern North Carolina where he acquired a Bachelor's in Jazz Performance from East Carolina University, and still performs in North Carolina whenever possible. He made his way to Kansas City to attend UMKC in 2016 and has remained ever since. Max has studied and worked with such saxophonists as Bobby Watson, Dan Thomas, Dr. Frank Bongiorno, Benny Hill, and Rob Holmes of the Navy Jazz Commodores.

KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 04.jpg

Aaron Linscheid


Aaron Linscheid has been playing and teaching trumpet in Kansas City for a little over a decade.


After earning his BA from Bethel College and finishing graduate studies in both classical performance and jazz at UMKC’s Conservatory, Linscheid started a private studio of his own at the Village Music Academy and joined the faculty at Ottawa University as Adjunct Professor of Trumpet. His students regularly receive statewide recognition in both Kansas and Missouri.


As a performer Linscheid has led his own trio for eight years, played with the Diamond Empire Band, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Musical Theatre Heritage and the Marcus Lewis Big Band and freelanced widely throughout the Midwest.

KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 06.jpg

Andrew Stinson


A native Arkansan, Andrew Stinson graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts in 2010. He then moved to Kansas City to pursue jazz history studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and experience the city’s vital and historically rich jazz community. Upon graduating with two Master’s degrees in music in 2014 and devoting much of his studies to Charles Mingus, Andrew taught a variety of music history courses at UMKC and bass lessons at Kansas City Kansas Community College until 2020. Outside of his current nine-to-five, Andrew continues performing with local artists, including The Project H, Stephen Martin, and engagements with KCJO, incorporating a variety of musical styles into his playing.

KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 07.jpg

Andrew Wray


Andrew Wray is a composer & drummer from Kansas City, KS. He studied with Dr. David Hall at the University of Nebraska and currently teaches at the Culture House in Olathe, KS.


Andrew is a uniquely creative and passionate force behind the drums. He has performed around the country, including the world premiere of “Liminality” by Dave Hall at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in 2019 and as a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets in 2018. His composition “Daydreaming in the Rain” was premiered by the University of Nebraska Percussion Ensemble in 2021. He was also featured on Greg Simon’s “Fanfare, Nocturne, Fanfare” which released in 2021.

KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 11.jpg

Isaiah Petrie


Isaiah Petrie is a vibraphonist and composer in the Kansas City area. Currently, he studies with Peter Schlamb at the UMKC Conservatory under the direction of Carl Allen.

KCJO Headshots _ Nicole Bissey Photo for Rivas 02.jpg

Jackie Myers


Jackie Myers is a jazz pianist, composer, producer and vocalist. She is a transplant from Austin, Texas, where she performed in the indie touring circuit for almost a decade. She has been playing in the Kansas City jazz scene since December of 2017. Since then she has held residencies at several notable jazz venues in Kansas City, including Corvino Supper Club, Chaz on the Plaza, and Green Lady Lounge. She also held the position of Music Director and piano player for the nationally syndicated radio show – 12th Street Jump – taped live in Kansas City until 2020. Myers boasts a catalog of 7 albums and is currently working on her 8th. She holds a certificate in music from Berklee School of Music, a BA in music from Grinnell College, and a Master of Arts in Music with a jazz concentration from UMKC. 

Thank you to our underwriters for their support of the Riff Generation concert series:


Geraldine and R.A. Barrows Foundation,

UMB Bank, Trustee

Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts,

Commerce Bank, Trustee

bottom of page